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March 24, 1999 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1999-03-24

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NBA;
BASKETBALL
CLEVELAbI43,
Boston 86
ORLANDO 86,
Charlotte VOP
UTAH 84,
Miami 81

SAN ANTONIO 112,
Denver 82
Toronto 113,
CHICAGO 90
Golden State at
PORTLAND, inc.

NHL
HOCKEY
Buffalo 1,
NEW JERSEY 1
PITTSBURGH 5,
Chicago 2
Dallas at
PHOENIX, inc.

Ulbe £tui~n &u

Tracking 'M' Internet sites
Check out the Michigan hockey team battling Denver
on Friday by way of the Internet. You can watch all t
action straight from the Michigan hockey Website at
http://www.mgoblue.com/icehockey.

Wednesday
March 24, 1999

10

'

WCHA experience
may help Michigan

Common ground
Games vs. common foes
W 20 vs. Lake
_0Superior W 4-0

Hockey U'
NCAA East Regional

By: David Den Herder
Daily Sports Writer
Although the Michigan hockey team
has not once faced Denver this season,
tiie' two teams have seen some of the
same competition.
The Wolverines got to taste WCHA-
flavor hockey on two separate occasions
over the holidays.
During Thanksgiving break, while
inany students inhaled turkey and stuff-
ing, Michigan was on the road getting a
healthy dose of the
WCHA at the HOCKEY
College Hockey Notebok
Showcase. The tbo
Wolverines man- -----------------
aged a victory over Minnesota, 3-2, and
tied Wisconsin, 1-1.
"Michigan winger Josh Langfeld said
tht Olympic-size ice surface that is
cpmmonplace in the WCHA gives rise
t6smaller, speedier players on the
whole.
"It's a lot more wide open," Langfeld
aid. "The WCHA is definitely a good
brand of hockey."
Michigan's other encounter with the
western conference came over winter
ireak - in the form of a 4-1 drubbing
vf'Michigan Tech at the Great Lakes
'Invitational on Dec. 26.
"I don't think there's a big differ-
4ence," between the WCHA and CCHA,
AMichigan coach Red Berenson said.
"The big difference is the goals scored
(average per game). Maybe our league
is a little more defensive, or less skilled
offensively."
j That said, Denver may be the most
CCHA-like team in the 'W.'
The Pioneers are "big, they grind and
4d1eck hard," Langfeld said.
Denver leads its league in penalty
'minutes per game with 19.62, but
despite a WCHA goals-allowed average
of3.39, they are fifth best in the confer-
ence standings.
+ Men's gy
y Dan Dingerson
Daily Sports Writer
The Michigan men's gymnastics team
can finally claim that it is the best team in
el the country.
Following the team's second straight
t-*seore over 230, the Wolverines claimed
-the top spot in the latest National
Association of Gymnastics Coaches poll.
Michigan wrested the honor away from
Penn State, who has been ranked number
noe for much of the year.

Michigan - also fifth in league goals
allowed - averages a stingy 2.40.
"Everybody thinks they have the bet-
ter league," Michigan's Mark Kosick
said.
Incidentally, the CCHA topped the
WCHA in the games against each other
this season - 11-7-1.
THE FLIP SIDE: The other two CCHA
teams in first-round action this Friday
will face opponents from the Hockey
East conference.
Northern Michigan, a No. 5 seed in
the West, will face last year's NCAA
runner-up, Boston College.
The Eagles are coming off a Hockey
East playoff title, but won't have any
kind of home-ice advantage as they will
meet the Wildcats in Madison instead of
Worcester, Mass., the sight of the East
Regional.
Boston College will apply a large
amount of offensive pressure to the
Wildcats. The Eagles lead Hockey East
with a league average of 4.15 goals per
game.
But as Michigan fans are well aware,
Northern's offense is nothing to scoff at
either. Led by forward J.P. Vigier, the
Wildcats averaged 3.13 goals per game
in the defense-oriented CCHA.
Ohio State, who will also travel east
to Worcester, is set to face No. 3 seed
Maine in Friday's early game. Also
members of Hockey East, the Bears are
better known for their defensive ability.
With a league average of 2.65 goals
allowed per game, Maine is second in its
conference behind top-seeded New
Hampshire.
Similarly, thanks in part to the play of
goaltender Jeff Maund, the Buckeyes
allow only 2.20 goals per game - good
enough to be ranked second in the
CCHA (behind Michigan State).
The CCHA was on the short end of a
5-7-1 overall record to Hockey East this
season.

Seniors ready1
for last hurrah
By Chris Duprey
Daily Sports Editor
They've been part of two national championship teams.
They've captured three CCHA playoff titles, and won t
Great Lakes Invitational on two occasions.
Meet the members of the Michigan hockey team's senioif
class. Finish your introductions quickly - the NCAA
Tournament, beginning in the first round Friday against
Denver, will be their final run in Michigan uniforms. ,.
"I've always said you're as good as your senior classy
Michigan coach Red Berenson said. "I think this class haS
really stepped forward in the playoffs."
And while you'd be hard-pressed to find a coach who
would badmouth his senior class, you get the feeling that
Berenson is telling the truth.
It would have been easy for the seven seniors to slip into'
a feeling of self-satisfaction after last season. After all;
they'd done the ultimate in collegiate hockey. They'd won the
national championship - twice.
But that wasn't how the seniors wanted to go out. And
with three strong captains - Bubba Berenzweig, assistant
Bobby Hayes and assistant Dale Rominski - at the helmi
Michigan wasn't chalking up 1998-99 as a season of
rebuilding at all.
Never mind that the Wolverines would be depending
mainly on younger players.
Never mind that, instead of the seasoned Marty Turco, thg
defensemen would be protecting a goaltender with no colle-
giate experience.
They wouldn't just deal with the circumstances, they4
make the most of them.
"They've all played a role, and they've played it well,"
Berenson said.
These days, Michigan rarely has difficulty attracting top!
talent. Ever since Berenson proved his program's durability.
with breakout teams in the late '80s and early '90s, recruit-
ing has become a much easier business for the Wolverines.
But the transition of raw talent into finished Michiga
product is not an easy one. Freshmen and sophomores in the
Michigan hockey program inevitably find a contributing
role early in their careers. Obviously Berenson deserves
much of the credit, but his success is partly due to the emer,.
gence of leadership-oriented captains.
Once mentored by their hockey elders, this season it
became time for Berenzweig, Hayes and Rominski to take
the reins. Most of their hard work is behind the scenes,
tucked away from the public spotlight. But they're making.
See SENIORS, Page 11.

WARREN ZINN/Daily
Bobby Hayes has won many championships during his Michigan career, but the senior would love to take
home another one. The Wolverines will strive for another NCAA crown starting Friday.

nnastics soars to No. 1 in nation

The team's previous highest ranking
this year was No. 2, which the team held
for over a month.
The ranking system that i5 used in
gymnastics is different than in most
sports, because it is computed instead of
voted on.
The team's ranking is currently deter-
mined by taking the highest home score
and the two highest road scores, eliminat-
ing the highest of the three, and then
averaging the other two.

Because Michigan's three highest
scores all came at home, none of them
counted in determining the rankings.
But after the team recorded a team high
at Michigan State this past Saturday, the
average went up almost two points, rais-
ing the team from No. 5 to the top spot.
The ranking system provides some
inconsistencies. Although Michigan has
not beaten Ohio State or Iowa in head-to-
head competition, the Wolverines rank
ahead of both schools.
The ranking comes at the end of the
regular season as the team prepares for
the Big Ten Championships.
"I think that this ranking will affect
both us and the other teams at Big Tens,"
Golder said. "I think that it will give our

team a lot of confidence.
"I think that when the other teams see
this that it will give them more incentive
to beat us," Golder said. "The other
teams will have it up in the lockerrooms,
and have some comments about it."
The ranking is important to the team,
but it doesn't fulfill any of the team's
goals - it is only a result of them. The
team has been focusing all year on per-
forming their best, and eventually win-
ning the NCAA Championships.
"We need to be careful not to put too
much into it. It's nice, but it doesn't mean
that much if we don't continue to per-
form well,"Golder said. "Idon't thnk that
this team will let up, though. They
haven't fulfilled all of their goals yet."

4fr

Kurt Golder's res-
urrection of the
Michigan men's
gymnastics pro-
gram has climbed
to a new altitud.
The Wolverine
are ranked No. I
In the nation.
DANA LINNANE/Daily

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